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Handling the “Devil’s Snare” of Grief

devils snare of griefConfession: I absolutely adore the Harry Potter series (both the books & the movies – and I view them as two separate things.) If you know me at all, this probably isn’t a surprise!!

I love them partly simply because Harry Potter is a brilliantly written and imaginative and captivating story of love and friendship and inner strength.

I also love this story because it is jam-packed with countless metaphors and quotes and insights that inspire me and serve as wonderful tools in working with my clients.

In reflecting on the often mixed and chaotic emotions that the holiday season can bring, I couldn’t help but think of a particular scene from the second Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets movie. (If you haven’t seen the movies, well, 🙁 . Either way, I’ll make this make sense…or you can watch a clip on YouTube here)

In this scene, the 3 main characters are entering the Chamber of Secrets and land on a plant substance called “Devil’s Snare.” This plant immediately begins to wrap itself around their bodies and the more they struggle against it, the more it ensnares them and begins to smother them. After a few minutes, they figure out that the trick to getting through the Devil’s Snare is to relax into it and once they do so, they move through the plant and come out the other side of it.

It’s the perfect metaphor for dealing with the messy emotions of grief.

The more we resist the messy and painful emotions of grief the more they wrap themselves around us and smother out the beauty or peacefulness of life. The harder we fight against them, the faster they overwhelm us.

And if we can find a way to relax and lean into those messy or painful emotions, we will find we move through them and come out the other side – where beauty and peace are possible again.

other side of griefRelaxing into painful emotions isn’t always easy and requires courage.

It’s also the only way through the “devil’s snare” of grief and back into the light of life and joy again.

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